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The Real Board of Education

"You shall them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit down in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. " (Deut. 6:7).

When you stop and think about it, public schools are a very recent idea. Throughout history, education has been seen as the responsibility of the home. Even the rise of public schools was originally intended to express the values of the homes in the community. The original board of education was Mom and Dad.

Local residents, of course, still serve on school boards, but the emphasis on reflecting home values has been seriously neglected and eroded. God's system, however, has not changed! Those attentive to His Word know that the primary source of education still rests in the home.

The "them" in the above verse refers to God's instructions. We don't have to invent something to teach our children; God has provided the curriculum for us to pass on to them in creative and persistent ways. God even provides a summary of everything we need to teach our children in verse 5: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. "

The classroom mentioned in verse 6 takes on many forms, and the times for instruction vary widely. The point is not so much to "tell" our kids something, as if we are preaching at them, but to "talk" with them. The rest of this passage assumes that our children will ask questions. (vs. 20). We need to be prayerfully prepared with answers. If our lives are different from the rest of the world, we can be sure they will ask why.

The locations for instruction (sitting at home, traveling, laying down, rising up) indicate that we should be aware of "teachable moments" throughout the day when events, comments or opportunities arise where we can have conversations with our children about God's character and purposes.

For most of us, the challenge comes as we begin to include God in the general conversation in our homes. The trend in our society is to put God in the church building and keep Him there. Kids will notice if God comes home with us. And when God's instruction becomes one of the topics of conversation morning, noon, and night, the results will be memorable! Go back and read Deut. 6:1-25.

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward